Marcel Winatschek

The Meaningless Love

The Meaningless Love

As she makes her way home, I shout the first stupid thing that comes to my mind. The black-clad, slim person with the white sneakers marked by life turns around once more, grins, shouts back, and raises her hand. I wave as well, then she steadily gets a little smaller - even smaller than she already is.

The smoke from her cigarette dances in the otherwise clear air. I look after her only very briefly because I can’t stand the sight and the gradually embracing cold any longer, open the heavy glass door, and once again enter the building which is bursting with dreams of strangers and in the past months has turned into our refuge from the mostly noisy, chaotic, and abandoned by all good spirits world outside.

I wanted to deliberately miss the moment when she disappeared completely behind the walls. Maybe because deep down I’m a coward after all, and so I realize less quickly that it’s pretty lonely without her here, in these light-filled halls.

There is no worse feeling than being in love with someone I shouldn’t be in love with, for various reasons. Maybe because there are just too many differences between me and the person on the other side. Because the person of favor already has someone who fills the position that I’d like to hold myself.

Or because the person I have to think about again and again, at the most impossible times, possibly even all the time, just doesn’t share the same emotions that I so exceedingly vulnerably extend to them. And when things go really bad, all of these points apply equally and hit me all the harder.

One barely surmountable truth at least seems certain: This love has no meaning, no future, and thus no value. And I can’t change anything about that, no matter how much I twist and turn the matter and wish I could.

I try, with all my might, to find objective arguments for why it would be much more logical if I had no affection for the impudently grinning counterpart. But no matter how meticulously I try to track them down, they simply don’t exist - anywhere.

The lists, tables, and diagrams of the negative reasons remain empty on this day - as always. Because there is absolutely nothing to be said for not wanting to dive into this body that is almost bursting with different talents.

How could I resist this person’s sober, disarming, and perceptive charm? She’s pretty, she’s smart, she’s sassy. She always has a silly saying in store, either glowing with energy or apathetically sinking into her thoughts, and every time I talk to her, she opens up like a man-made grab bag of interesting stories.

Her manner changes fluidly from brash brat to motivating muse, without completely abandoning rules, guides, and socially relevant customs. She’s one of the good guys, no matter how much she sometimes tries to cover it up with her thuggish manner and loose mouth.

I collect every new detail about her life, like pieces of a puzzle scattered all over the globe, which, when assembled bit by bit, create a lovingly decorated and partially scarred treasure map that I can use as a guide to discover ever more adventures, memories, and inspirations.

Then I sit there, listen, marvel, and travel back with her once again to those fateful moments that made her, in the truest sense of the word, the wonderful personality she is today. And no matter how great, meaningful, and varied I think my existence is, it’s nothing compared to the plays that are playing out in front of my mind’s eye. I watch in suspense and can only be stunned with my mouth wide open.

The meaningless love is not a shock, not a jolt, not a tremor. It gnaws at me, always a little, sometimes more, sometimes less. Usually in situations where I least expect it, or just when I catch sight of a certain smile, drawn by the experiences of a young but exciting life. Then I’m happy for a moment and shortly after I remember that, yes, there was a reason why my heart was about to get a little heavier again.

But contrary to all appearances, meaningless love is not an ominous feeling - quite the opposite. It would be much bleaker to resist this emotion from the outset. The fact that I feel the stupid love at all somewhere in my atrophied soul, which has been freed of all empathy, is proof that I haven’t yet completely closed myself off to the world, that I’m not yet dead inside, that there’s still hope for not drowning in my minimalist melancholy at some point for good and without any prospect of rescue.

As she makes her way home, I shout after her the first stupid thing that comes to my mind. There are no lies, no mockery, and no false expectations hidden in my words. I am fully aware of the position from which I am almost screaming at her and that her little world is already full of characters I neither can nor want to replace.

The black-clad, slim person with the white sneakers marked by life turns around once more, grins, shouts back, and raises her hand. I wave too, then she steadily gets a little smaller - even smaller than she already is.

The only hope is for a future in which I may continue to follow this pretty face and listen to her stories. After all, our time together is limited. But the psychological fact that other people bore or even annoy me after a short time, and this person doesn’t, is sometimes so new, so rare, so unusual, that I can’t help but stay close to them and wait eagerly to see what else will come.

Of course, I have to be careful not to fall into the same traps that many others have fallen into before me. After all, unrequited affection can tip over in the blink of an eye, leaving me not only with the sad certainty of an unfulfilled romance but also with the ruins of a friendship that has turned to dust and ashes. And this, of course, should be avoided at all costs, otherwise, the depressing journey will end not only with empty hands but also with a wounded soul.

There is no worse feeling than being in love with someone I should not be in love with for various reasons. And yet, secretly, I’m a little bit happy about it. Because it also says a lot about me and the path I’ve taken so far.

After all, this emotion, which is classified as negative from the outset, can turn into a veritable treasure trove of mind-expanding ideas in no time with a different perspective. I just have to draw the right conclusions from it and not operate in outdated thought patterns.

Meaningless love is a bittersweet gift from which I can draw insights, get inspiration, and gain a lesson or two about myself and the people around me. It allows me to enrich my own life with the experiences of others that they so trustingly share with me.

I should not close my mind to this chance in any case, but, on the contrary, approach it as open-heartedly as possible. Even if, or perhaps even because, I will probably never reach the actual goal of becoming a part of the world of the one to whom this meaningless love applies.

But hope, no matter how small, puny, and unrealistic it may be, dies last, as we all know. And sometimes that’s all I need to keep going in this usually so noisy, chaotic, and abandoned by all good spirits world that is waiting for me out there, in front of these light-flooded halls.